The title of the blog post may remind you of one of those annoying update notifications that won’t go away until you click ‘yes’. And even after the update is done, you won’t see any changes in the system. But even though the changes aren’t visible, they are very much there, underneath the User Interface. These changes are critical to ensure your software works smoothly for years to come with maximum efficiency and security.
Updating your WordPress website is a similar affair. It’s the first tip almost every WordPress hosting Malaysia company gives, and for good reason too.
Why Update WordPress?
There are many reasons why you should update your WordPress website, a few key points are:
1. Security comes first
WordPress encounters bugs, vulnerabilities, and hacks on a daily basis. Sure, it may or may not be a critical threat, but are you willing to trust your luck with your website? Updates fix those bugs, patch security holes, and effectively secure your website.
2. Improvements and new features
Each update includes new features that the WordPress team decided would increase the quality of the platform and user experience. They may seem confusing at first but are guaranteed to help your site work better in the future. You will also notice visible improvements in the existing features.
With how impatient people have become today, speed is vital. WordPress understands that and prioritizes it just as much as you do. Hence, with every update, they optimize WordPress and its backend processes. You can identify the speed of your website by testing them on sites like GTmetrix.
Earlier, each platform had a definitive task to perform but now a single site needs to be able to do everything. And this requires higher compatibility with other existing software, tools, and plugins. With WordPress updated, you can enjoy the freedom to use almost everything without any problems.
Steps to update WordPress
Store your content somewhere safe by creating a backup. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And if anything goes wrong, you can always restore the older version and keep your website active.
Many WordPress backup plugins can help you create your backup with little to no effort. Just download the plugin and back up your files, themes, plugins, uploads, and databases.
2. Turn cache off
If you have your caching plugin installed and switched on, then turn it off. WordPress caching modifies the way your website works and also enhances its performance. But to avoid any complications, turn it off while you update WordPress.
3. Update your themes and plugins
Start with updating your theme and other plugins. Although they are a part of WordPress, they have their own regular updates to keep them bug-free.
When you open the admin tab, you usually get recommendations and notifications alerting you of the new updates and you can just click on them to update what seems to be outdated. You can find theme updates under the Appearance and plugin updates under the Plugins section on the left-hand side menu bar.
4. Update WordPress core
Updating the core of WordPress, contrary to assumptions, is the easiest and quickest step. You can find the button that reads “Update Now” under the updates section on the admin page. Just click on the button, wait for the process to complete, and you’re good to go.
5. Turn cache on
The update is complete and it is safe to enable WordPress caching again.
6. Check if everything is okay
Go through your site and check how everything is working and if there are any problems. Although it’s unlikely you’ll find any discrepancies, it’s always better to check, just in case.
There’s no need for you to be thorough – just a little bit of general browsing is enough.
7. Backup again
If the update was successful, backup your website again. This will make sure your backup is up-to-date. Backups are done regularly for the exact same reason, so it contains the latest data and settings in case you lose it you can always recover it with ease.
We know updates are never fun and they take hours to complete but they are far more advantageous as compared to the time they take. And although the whole process seems confusing, and maybe even a little overwhelming, it’s not. Once you’re done with the first time, you’ll gradually get comfortable with it and might even continue updating your website regularly. Want to optimize your WordPress website better? Get in touch with us today.